Portland NORML News - Sunday, April 19, 1998

Drug War Is A Lost Cause - Like Prohibition (Op-Ed In 'Los Angeles Times'
By Mike Gray, Author Of 'Drug Crazy - How We Got Into This Mess
And How We Can Get Out,' Explains Why Prohibition Leads Ineluctably
To Dead Teenage Informants)

Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 10:40:28 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: OPED: Drug War Is a Lost Cause--Like Prohibition
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: 213-237-4712
Pubdate: April 19, 1998
Author: Mike Gray


Using teenagers as informants is sometimes the only option that police have.

Sixteen-year-old Jonathan Kollman had been clean for several months--a
struggle, but he was hanging in there. Then he ran into this babe in a red
sports car who offered to buy him a fix. For a fragile teenager holding on
by his fingernails, it was one temptation too many. He made the buy and 10
minutes later, he was back in the jaws of the dragon with heroin in his

But what of the Dragon Lady? Who was this evil temptress? Turns out she was
a cop--an undercover narcotics officer from the Plano, Texas, police
department who needed an informant. Playing on the kid's vulnerability, she
reintroduced him to his habit, and once he was rehooked, she was able to
use him for a half dozen drug buys.

If you believe the end justifies the means, this little operation would
have to be considered a resounding success--three dozen people busted for
selling or holding heroin, including Kollman. But a lot of the folks in
Plano are uneasy about this business of using kids as offensive weapons in
the drug war. The boy's parents, for example--having just waged a titanic
battle to free their son from addiction--are understandably dismayed that
it was the police who turned him on again.

But for all their trauma, Jonathan Kollman's parents are lucky. Chad
MacDonald Jr.'s mother probably would trade places with them in a second.
When her son's badly damaged young frame was found in an alley south of
downtown Los Angeles last month, it was revealed that he, too, had been
lured into the service of the law. Earlier in the year, the Brea Police
Department in Orange County had captured MacDonald with a half ounce of
methamphetamine, and they apparently saw in him the makings of a useful

After MacDonald's arrest in January 1998 on charges of possession of
methamphetamine, the Brea police offered Chad and his mother a deal, and
the pressure must have been intense because they went for it in spite of
the obvious danger. Rather than treat his addiction, the deal dropped this
high school student unprepared into the boiling pot of cutthroats who
populate the illegal drug trade. Since these guys are often facing 10 or 20
years if they're caught, they disdain informants--a fact they underscored
by torturing the kid before killing him and then raping and shooting his
girlfriend and leaving her for dead in the San Gabriel Mountains.

Undoubtedly this is an arrangement that everybody involved wishes they had
to do over again, but the truth is, we're likely to see more of this kind
of thing in the future, not less.

Consider the problem from the cops' viewpoint. You have a bunch of high
school kids dealing drugs to one another in private. How do you break into
this closed circle? That's the intractable nexus of the war on drugs, the
thing that has driven our ongoing assault on the Bill of Rights for more
than 80 years. In a drug deal, there's no complaining witness. Most other
criminals--the rapist, the robber, the ax murderer--have somebody chasing
them or have victims or survivors demanding justice.

But when there's nobody to call the cops, the cops have little choice. To
break up what is essentially a private transaction, they inevitably have to
resort to some subterfuge that will trample the Constitution, whether it's
turning your kid into a junkie or splintering your front door without
bothering to knock or forcing you to the pavement because you happen to be
a black man in an expensive car. It is the nature of the drug war itself
that creates this ethical quagmire, not the perversity of the police. Brea
Chief William Lentini was simply trying his best to carry out the
impossible task we've handed him.

Our hands are hardly clean on this issue. The latest polls show that 70% of
the American people think the drug war is a failure--and that we should
keep at it. As President Clinton has pointed out, doing the same thing over
and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.

Like a man who has set his hair on fire and is trying to put it out with a
hammer, we will continue to pulverize our principles and devour our young
until the drug war's violence and corruption finally reaches every nook and
cranny of our lives. Only then will we face the fact, as we did with
alcohol prohibition in 1933, that the problem is not what's in the bottle,
but how we've chosen to deal with it.


Mike Gray's latest book, "Drug Crazy: How We Got Into This Mess and How We
Can Get Out," will be published by Random House in June

Copyright Los Angeles Times

Small Plane Carrying Pot Crashes After Chase With Customs Officials
('Associated Press' Says The Pilot Of A Small Plane Loaded With Marijuana
Died After It Crashed In A Detroit Field Sunday Night
After Being Chased From Texas By US Customs Planes)

Subj: US MI: Wire: Small Plane Carrying Pot Crashes After Chase With
Customs Officials
From: W.H.E.N.
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 23:39:19 -0400
Newshawk: W.H.E.N.
Source: Associated Press
Author: Randi Goldberg


DETROIT (AP) -- A small plane loaded with marijuana crashed in a baseball
field Sunday night after being chased from Texas by U.S. Customs planes.
Residents ran to help, but some fled with bundles of drugs while the pilot
was dying, witnesses said.

Three Customs planes had been chasing the aircraft -- carrying 300 pounds
of marijuana -- since El Paso, Texas, Fire Chief Lee Moore said. The pilot
apparently ran low on fuel before crashing in the field, about 1,500 miles
from El Paso.

Customs officials began following the plane in Texas as part of a routine
surveillance operation, authorities said. Customs officials often follow
planes near the U.S. and Mexican border, said Moore, who believes the pilot
was trying to get to Canada.

"I'm assuming in his desperation there was an attempt to stop in this
field," Moore said.

Customs officials did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Neighbor Gloria Johnson said she heard a boom, saw the plane hit a tree and
then crash into the field. She said the pilot was still alive when
neighbors ran to help.

"There were big bundles of drugs and money all around the plane," Ms.
Johnson said. "The bundles of marijuana looked like two big suitcases."

Ms. Johnson said she saw people leave the scene with some of the

"A couple of guys came to help, then grabbed the bags of drugs and left,"
Johnson said. Police would not confirm that.

The plane was upside-down and missing its tail after the crash. About 20
firefighters and police officers flipped it over and extracted the pilot's

No one else was believed to be aboard the plane, Moore said.

Temperance Movement Grows In Chicago, A Precinct At A Time ('New York Times'
Says Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley Has Been Promoting A 'Vote Dry' Campaign,
With City Hall Lawyers Teaching Residents How To Outlaw The Sale Of Alcohol
In A Precinct, Typically A Few Blocks Of 400 To 500 People,
Or Even At A Particular Address)

Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 10:50:00 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US NYT: Temperance Movement Grows in Chicago,
a Precinct at a Time
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Dick Evans" 
Source: New York Times (NY)
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Pubdate: Sun. April 19, 1998
Author: Dirk Johnson


Drawing pistols and swinging axes to bust up illegal speakeasies, Eliot
Ness and other federal prohibition agents stalked Al Capone and the
gangster bootleggers on this town's wickedest streets in the booze wars of
the 1920s.

Since the 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition and legalized the sale of
alcohol in 1933, Chicago has never been known as a place where thirst goes
unquenched. But a new temperance movement has taken hold in this
shot-and-a-beer city, a crusade to make some Chicago neighborhoods as sober
as Salt Lake City on Sunday morning.

In an effort to make city neighborhoods more wholesome and appealing to
families, Mayor Richard M. Daley has been promoting a "vote dry" campaign,
with City Hall lawyers teaching citizens groups how to outlaw the sale of
alcohol in a precinct, typically a few blocks of 400 to 500 people, or even
at a particular address.

"If you decide in your precinct to do this," Daley told cheering crowds at
Salem Baptist Church on the South Side recently, "you will have the full
support of my administration."

If 25 percent of the registered voters in a precinct sign a petition to
outlaw the sale of alcohol, the measure goes on the ballot in the next
general election. Nearly 50 precincts, or parts of precincts, have been
voted dry in the last decade, a number that could soar with the Daley
administration pushing the technique.

Some tavern and liquor store owners have expressed outrage about the
effort, saying they are being made scapegoats.

"This is ridiculous," said Jerry Rosen, the director of the Illinois Liquor
Store Association. "I understand Daley wants to make the city more livable,
so everybody doesn't run to the suburbs. But he's got this fascist
mentality. He doesn't like something -- that's it. Well, this is really
unfair." But in some neighborhoods crowded cheek by jowl with bars and
liquor stores, alcohol so dominates the landscape that little else seems
able to thrive. Along some parts of 79th Street on the city's South Side,
drunks urinate in public and crowds of foul-mouthed young men rule the
street corners. "These places are disrespecting the neighborhood," said the
Rev. Michael Pfleger, the pastor of St. Sabina's Roman Catholic Church on
the South Side, who is leading a petition drive to put some liquor stores
out of business. "Some of these places look like junk houses," Pfleger
said. "And they attract alcoholics, drug addicts."

The 48-year-old priest, who has long protested the preponderance of alcohol
billboards in poor, black neighborhoods, said the unsavory atmosphere
created by some liquor stores had caused many other shopkeepers to flee.
The Daley administration's anti-alcohol efforts are part of a series of
moves intended to make Chicago a better-behaved and more upstanding place
for families.

Thirty-eight of the city's 50 wards have a moratorium on the issuance of
new liquor licenses. The city has passed measures intended to keep out
"gentlemen's clubs," where women dance naked on tables and sometimes sit on
the laps of men.

To shame the patrons of prostitutes, City Hall distributes a list of men
who have been arrested by police, a list that is often published in
neighborhood newspapers.

Mr. Daley also announced recently that the city would demolish some "hot
pillow" motels on North Lincoln Avenue, places used mostly for illegal sex,
and build a police station, a park and a branch library there. Lamenting
that the neighborhood had become "a place for families to avoid," Mr. Daley
declared, "That reputation will change."

The mayor, who goes to Mass regularly at Old St. Patrick's Church and
refuses to do any business on Sunday because it is a day reserved for his
family, has little tolerance for untidy streets or unseemly behavior. A few
years ago he ordered that the St. Patrick's Day Parade be held on
Saturdays, so that families could attend, and he sent word to police that
public drunkenness and wild behavior would no longer be tolerated as part
of the Irish celebration.

Daley is not a teetotaler, and he has said most of the 6,000 establishments
in Chicago selling liquor conduct themselves honorably. But neighborhoods
that attract an unruly bar crowd, he said, have little chance of keeping
families. Judy Ollry, who lives in a neighborhood near Midway Airport, said
a bar near her home was making life miserable. "People were having sex in
the alleys," she said. "They were falling asleep in doorways."

She and her neighbors got a petition to put the issue on the ballot, and it
won handily. Neighbors did not want to vote the entire precinct dry, Mrs.
Ollry said, because it would have shuttered a popular, well-run Polish
dancing bar, the Baby Doll Polka Club. They only wanted to close a
trouble-making tavern called Off the Wall.

Since the tavern was forced to close, she said, the problems have declined
sharply. Mrs. Ollry, who has a young daughter, is married to a Chicago
firefighter, John Ollry, who is required to live within the city. She said
she had watched many people give up and move to the suburbs. "We're
invested in this neighborhood," said Mrs. Ollry, who recently upgraded her
kitchen. "We're not going to let some awful bar run us out."

Pot Finds Fresh Crop Of Users (Biased 'New Haven Register' Article
About Johnes Festival '98 At Western Connecticut State University In Danbury
Saturday Ignores Its Call For The Reform Of Marijuana Laws
In Favor Of The Traditional Mass Media Treatment - Start With An Interview
Of The Youngest Person The Reporter Can Find Smoking Cannabis,
And Be Sure To Quote Lots Of Discredited Drug Warrior Propaganda)

Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 09:58:34 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CT: Pot Finds Fresh Crop of Users
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Tom VonDeck 
Source: New Haven Register (CT)
Contact: Editor@ctcentral.com
Pubdate: Sun, 19 Apr 1998
Author: Walter Kita


DANBURY - College senior Michael Burnett, who describes himself as an
''infrequent'' pot smoker, says young adults who inhale marijuana regularly
aren't doing anything wrong.

In fact, he contends, they are only acting naturally.

''Marijuana comes from the Earth and has proven medical benefits,'' said
Burnett, 23, one of several hundred who attended the Johnes Festival '98 at
Western Connecticut State University in Danbury Saturday to call for the
reform of marijuana laws. ''People who use it responsibly for recreation
probably aren't going to get hurt.''

Burnett's relaxed attitude, experts say, is fairly typical of a new
generation of pot smokers who are rediscovering marijuana in alarming

A relatively small but enthusiastic group of those true believers joined
Burnett at the event, which had the ''free and easy'' feeling of a Grateful
Dead concert and featured a staggering display of shaggy hair and tie-dye.

Despite Saturday's frivolity, concern about a resurgence of popularity in
marijuana, particularly among adolescents and teens, has state and federal
legislators very worried. So much so, in fact, that The Partnership for a
Drug Free America recently lauched an ad campaign targeted at nipping
cannibis use in the bud.

New statistics suggest the lawmakers' concerns are justified.

A partnership study released last week found that parents of the ''baby
boom'' generation are seriously underestimating the presence of drugs in
their children's lives.

The study also found that children whose parents talk to them about the
dangers are better off than those who don't. Only 28 percent of the teens
polled, however, said they had had such conversations.

Among college students, marijuana use has dipped a bit since its peak in
the late 1970s and early 1980s, but various studies indicate a fair number
of young people still light up a joint occasionally, according to David
Musto, Yale professor of the history of medicine and psychiatry.

''If you look at the history of pot use in America, it goes up and down,
but among college students there always seems to be a lot of kids willing
to experiment with it,'' Musto said.

One big reason: Pot is still among the most economical ''highs'' around.
For about $5, enough for two marijuana cigarettes, the effects can last an
entire day, said Katurah Abdul-Salaam, a supervisor in the substance abuse
unit of the Connecticut Mental Health Center in New Haven. The effects of
cocaine and crack, Abdul-Salaam added, are much shorter, lasting only about
20 minutes.

Despite the claims of some that pot is among the least harmful
''recreational'' drugs, experts say new scientifc research suggests its
harmful effects may be more profound than anyone previously thought.

Patricia Kitchen, a nurse clinician in the Hospital of St. Raphael
substance abuse unit, said that is the result of pot's unique chemical
properties, which allows it to be stored in the body's fat cells for up to
three days after it is smoked.

Acute pot usage, Kitchen said, slows reflexes, reduces peripheral vision,
impairs judgment and decreases concentration. Chronic pot users, Kitchen
said, run the risk of developing ''amotivational syndrome,'' which she
described as a profound lack of desire to achieve.

Pot also has been shown to have adverse effects on the brain and
reproductive organs.

While much of this information has been around for years, Kitchen said it
bears repeating in the wake of a growing attitude among pot users that a
drug that comes from the earth can't be all bad.

''You hear people saying that a lot these days - that pot is a natural
high, which suggests that somehow it isn't as bad for you,'' Kitchen said.
''That simply isn't true.''

Few of those who attended Saturday's festival at Western Connecticut State
University were buying into those words.

For them, and their supporters, the issue of marijuana use is a ''free
speech'' issue. Legalizing marijuana, they argue, will eliminate organized
crime and save taxpayers the billions of dollars that are spent each year
in the government's crackdown on pot and other illegal drugs.

''The current approach to the problem clearly isn't working,'' said Jospeh
Grabarz, executive director of the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union, an
adviser to the organizers of Saturday's festival. ''Our position is that
the government shouldn't be telling you what kind of things you can and
cannot put into your body.''

(c) 1998, New Haven Register

The Volatile Career Path Of A Drug Corner Kingpin (Morality Tale
In 'Washington Post' About A Local Seller Of Illegal Drugs
Shows More Danger From Prohibition Than Drugs)

Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 22:20:19 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US DC: WP: The Volatile Career Path of a Drug Corner Kingpin
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: rlake@mapinc.org
Source: Washington Post
Author: Michael Powell, Washington Post Staff Writer
Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm
Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
Pubdate: Suncay, 19 April1998


He was just another kid on just another corner in the deadliest city in the

Leroy Watson Jr., nicknamed "Love," attended Paul Junior High School in
Northwest Washington's Brightwood neighborhood when crack cocaine arrived
1986. Cars crawled by day and night, and crack vials and dollar bills were

Watson became a student of this world, slinging dope and running errands
for dealers on 10th and V streets NW in the Shaw neighborhood. He watched
as homicides doubled, tripled, quadrupled and quintupled.

In 1992, Watson made his career move and executed his drug boss, a
40-year-old named Franklin Michael Carter. He inherited a $2 million-a-year
business, according to police.

Watson's rise and eventual fall in 1996 neatly encompass the deadliest 10
years in the city's history. His was a progression -- charted in police and
court records and interviews with family, friends and detectives -- that
mirrored the decade, from selling marijuana to heroin and crack, from
carrying a knife to wielding a Glock, from a gangling want-to-be drug
dealer to king of a drug corner.

It was a path trodden by thousands of black male teenagers in Washington,
with tragic consequences for themselves and their victims.

Leroy Watson Jr. was born in 1970, into a family where both parents worked.
His nickname had an obvious provenance. "Leroy had that big smile, and he'd
beg for a hug," recalled his father, Leroy Watson Sr., who is a
construction worker. "He was the love of our life; so we named him 'Love.' "

Two years later, Watson and his wife divorced. There's no love lost, but he
doesn't blame their son's fate on her. "It's hard in this day for a single
parent," Watson said. "I saw Leroy all the time, but he just started to
drift away."

By the time Watson Jr. was 15, he tooled around on a red bike, selling dope
for Carter. Many evenings, he would sit on the steps of Garnet-Patterson
Junior High School and count his daily dope money.

Watson Jr. recruited his drug crew from the same school; a reader can leaf
through a 1985 Garnet-Patterson yearbook and pick out their faces and
coltish smiles. Under his guidance, they would shed their collective
innocence like a skin.

One day, in the late 1980s, five officers served a search warrant on a
rowhouse on 10th Street. It was a nuisance complaint. But as the door
opened, seven teenage boys whom Watson had recruited bolted toward the back
window and fire escape. In the dark, a detective ran around to the alley.

"Police! Stop!" the detective recalled shouting. A metal object clattered
down the fire escape. It was a .357 magnum. Later, officers recovered six
fully loaded semiautomatic pistols in the apartment.

"They were on their way to waste a block of rivals," the police officer

Watson Jr.'s adolescence was a blur of judgment days postponed. His first
felony arrest came at age 15, and he got probation. Time and again, he
flashed a smile that even the cops described as "angelic," and judges would
release him in his mother's custody.

"We offered to show the judge a videotape of Watson dealing dope on the
steps of the school but he wasn't interested," one officer recalled. "Leroy
had a complete disdain for the cops and courts."

Bad segued to worse. Two police officers who worked in the 3rd District and
investigated Watson allege that he killed several men, and that his crew
dispatched a few more. Their decision-making process was rather arbitrary,
police recall.

One night a man disrespected Watson Jr. at a nightclub. Said something, did
something or brushed up against someone, no one really remembers. The man
got into his red jeep and drove to a gas station on Georgia Avenue NW, as
Watson's crew trailed behind him. Before the man could get out of his car,
he was dead.

Police counted 96 bullet holes in his jeep.

A similar fate befell Carter, the husky, bearded dealer who ran the 10th
and V drug corner for years. He and a buddy were cruising on June 3, 1992,
checking out the turf, when Watson Jr. and two other youths pulled up
alongside in their own car. Someone in Watson's car pulled a gun and pumped
a bullet into the head of Carter's friend. Carter took off, driving half a
block before he lost control and crashed into a store window.

Watson Jr. jogged over, police say, and shot his former boss in the head.

"The point was to kill Carter publicly, so people would know who did it,"
recalled an officer. "That's how you established your rep. He knew no one
would squeal."

Watson was arrested and charged with the murder. But it was 1992. Gangs had
killed several witnesses in spectacular fashion. The sole witness to
Carter's killing moved to Chicago and suffered sudden memory loss. Within
months, Watson walked free.

Several years later, police arrested Watson on drug charges. He did time in
Lorton, and was 26 before he got out and tried to reclaim his corner. Now
his own young lieutenants made a business decision.

They ambushed him at midnight. Shot him many times. Leroy Watson Jr., R.I.P.

Watson Sr. remembers the 2 a.m. telephone call. It was his sister: "Love"
was dead. He got out of bed, kissed his three young children as they slept
(Watson Sr. is remarried and fiercely protective of his children), and
drove to the drug corner.

"I knew where he was killed without asking," he said. "I just needed to see

At the funeral, Watson Sr. offered his hand to the detective investigating
his son's death. The detective extended his left hand; his right hand
clasped a shotgun under his overcoat. The police feared that Watson's
former lieutenants might show up at the funeral and kill more of their rivals.

The father shudders, his eyes and body constricted with more pain than he
can give voice to. In a whisper, he renders the most terrible judgment a
father could imagine.

"It may be just as well Leroy didn't survive," he said. "If he'd made it,
the first thing that would have come to his mind was revenge."

(c) Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

Five Big City Mayors Back Needle Exchanges ('Reuters' Says The Mayors
Of San Francisco, Detroit, Seattle, New Haven And Baltimore
Urged The Clinton Administration On Friday To Allow Federal Money To Be Used
For Needle Exchange Programs, Noting That 33 Americans Are Infected Every Day
With The Virus That Causes AIDS As A Result Of Injecting Illegal Drugs -
But Representative Gerald Solomon, The New York Republican Who Heads
The House Rules Committee, Said He Would Act To Stop Such A Move
And Work To Pass Legislation Permanently Banning Such Payments)

Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 10:52:37 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US NYT: Five Big City Mayors Back Needle Exchanges
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Dick Evans 
Source: New York Times (NY)
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Pubdate: Sun, April 19, 1998


WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The Mayors of five cities urged the Clinton
Administration on Friday to allow Federal money to be used for needle
exchange programs for drug users, but an influential Congressman said he
would act to stop such a move.

The Mayors, who serve in San Francisco, Detroit, Seattle, New Haven and
Baltimore, said in a letter to Donna E. Shalala, the Secretary of Health
and Human Services, that 33 Americans were infected every day with the
virus that causes AIDS as a result of injecting drugs.

But Representative Gerald B.H. Solomon, the New York Republican who heads
the House Rules Committee, said he would work to pass legislation
permanently banning such payments.

Congress has asked Dr. Shalala to determine whether needle exchange
programs would reduce H.I.V. infection and would not promote illegal drug
use. She certified the first condition in February 1997 and her
determination on the second is pending.

Americans Prefer Smack To Crack (Britain's 'Independent on Sunday'
Says The Precise Figures For Drug Use In The United States
Are Notoriously Unreliable But The Overall Trend During The Nineties
Indicates Cocaine Use Is Down And Heroin Use Is Up -
Drug Enforcement Administration Figures Based On Hospital Emergency Room
Admissions Suggest Heroin Use Has More Than Doubled Since 1990 -
However, The Actual Number Of People Who Use Cocaine
Remains Significantly Higher, Possibly By A Factor Of Five)

Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 12:30:08 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: UK: Americans Prefer Smack to Crack
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie ((Zosimos) Martin Cooke)
Source: Independent on Sunday
Contact: sundayletters@independent.co.uk
Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/
Pubdate: Sun, 19 Apr 1998
Author: John Carlin


THE PRECISE figures for drug use in the United States are notoriously
unreliable but the overall trend during the Nineties indicates convincingly
that cocaine use, especially in the form of crack cocaine, is down and
heroin use is up.

The statistical difficulties emerge from the fact that data on drug use is
collected by more than 50 government bodies, many of them employing
different criteria to evaluate their findings, and often to extrapolate
them. Some base their conclusions on questionnaires, some on arrest
figures, some on hospital admissions, some on urine samples taken from jail
inmates. All figures vary depending on geographical region.

Taking this ample proviso into account, all findings indicate that the
number of drug users in America has declined by half since the late
Seventies, down from about 25 million to 13 million. According to figures
compiled by the Department of Health and Human services the number of
people who use cocaine, which includes crack, fell from a 1985 peak of 5.7
million to 1.4 million in 1994. The figures since have remained stable,
although regional breakdowns show decreases in big north-eastern urban
centres like New York and increases in smaller Southern cities like
Birmingham, Alabama.

Heroin, by contrast, has increased significantly in popularity during the
Nineties at a rate comparable to what government officials call the
epidemic of the late Sixties.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration's figures, which tend to
tally in general terms with those of other government bodies, heroin use
has more than doubled in America since 1990. The DEA's conclusion is based
on hospital emergency room admissions for heroin users, which rose from
33,052 in 1990 to 74,714 in 1995 and appears to be continuing to climb.

Donna Shalala, the Health and Human Services secretary, said last August
that heroin use had been climbing steadily for three successive years, the
biggest increases being noted among those who smoked or snorted the drug
rather than those who favour the traditional method of intravenous
injection. She said a growing number of teenagers were trying heroin for
the first time.

The actual number of people who use cocaine remains significantly higher
than the number who use heroin, possibly by a factor of five judging from
hospital and police figures. But the trend away from cocaine and towards
heroin remains clear.

Why? If the statistics are elusive, assessing the complex combination of
factors that make up the shadowy drug market - from cultivation in South
America to consumption in America's inner cities and middle-class suburbs -
remains a matter of informed speculation.

Barry McCaffrey, the White House drugs tsar, patted himself on the back
after coming up with figures last year suggesting a 6 per cent decline from
1995 to 1996 in overall drug use. "The reasons for this apparent
turn-around involve everyone in America - parents, teachers, coaches,
religious leaders and community coalitions," General McCaffrey said.

He might have noted that the US has quadrupled its spending on combating
drugs in the past decade and that where the effect has been most noted,
possibly due in part to some measure of collaboration with the governments
of Colombia and Bolivia where previously there was none, has been with

Which, in turn, could suggest that the drug mafias have chosen to diversify
to some degree, turning their energies more to the heroin market. One
significant statistic provided by the DEA shows that whereas five years ago
65 per cent of the heroin used in the United States came from the
traditional Latin American cocaine exporters, today the figure stands at 95
per cent.

Right now the biggest cause of concern for the US government, however, is
the spectacular increase in marijuana use, in particular among young
people. In the 12 to 17 age group marijuana use has more than doubled since

Another Round On Booze Lobbies ('Edmonton Sun' In Alberta, Canada,
Assumes That With 40 Percent Of Traffic Fatalities In The US Traceable
To Alcohol, Setting A National Standard For Drunken Driving
Should Be A No Brainer - But A Measure To Equalize Standards
That Won Approval In The US Senate Recently And Was Backed By The President
Never Even Got To A Vote In The House, Providing A Lesson
In American Politics And The Strange Bedfellows That Lie Together When Cash,
Votes, And Local Customs Are Involved)

Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 12:29:37 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US DC: Another Round on Booze Lobbies
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Edmonton Sun (Canada)
Contact: sun.letters@ccinet.ab.ca
Website: http://www.canoe.ca/EdmontonSun/
Pubdate: April 19, 1998
Author: Pat Harden -- Washington Bureau


WASHINGTON -- With more than 40% of traffic fatalities in the U.S.
traceable to alcohol, you'd think that setting a national standard for
drunken driving would be a no-brainer.

Who could object? Everyone knows of some tragedy caused by a drunk at the
wheel. Beer and liquor companies preach the "responsible drinking" sermon
and police departments everywhere press for "zero tolerance" among young

A measure to equalize standards across the country won quick approval in
the U.S. Senate recently. Backed by the White House, its move through the
House and into law seemed assured. But it never even got to a vote.

How this seemingly popular proposal died is a lesson in American politics -
and the strange bedfellows that lie together when cash, votes and local
customs are involved.

The drunk-driving bill was killed by Republicans pressured by the booze
industry, by Democrats fearful of offending blue collar supporters, both
urban and rural, and by states-righters who object to any sort of federal

Project backers sought to impose a level of .08 grams of alcohol per
decilitre of blood - the same as in Alberta - as the standard. States that
failed to set the level would lose up to 10% of the federal highway funds,
which could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.

Nearly one-third of America's 50 states already set the .08% level as the
"per se" threshold. That means, with .08% blood alcohol concentrations, a
person can be convicted of drunk driving on the test alone; evidence of
dangerous or erratic driving is not necessary. Most of the remaining states
use a level of .10% limit.

Translated into real life, the lower level could be reached by a 77-kg man
consuming five drinks in two hours or by a 54-kg woman downing two glasses
of wine in the same period.

Studies suggest that more than 500 lives would be saved each year by
reducing the threshold. But other studies show the average BAC level among
fatally injured drunk drivers is .18% - more than twice the proposed .08%

While the pros and cons of reduction were being argued in public and on
Internet web sites, the real drive to kill the bill was hardly visible to
the public.

Distillers, breweries and the hospitality industry, all vehemently opposed
to the lower-booze threshold, are huge contributors to lawmakers' campaign
war chests. In this election year, donors had only to hint that funds might
not be forthcoming for the Republican majority - which receives most of the
cash - to get the message. GOP leadership, led by Speaker Newt Gingrich,
decided the bill should never leave committee.

Backers hoped for a last-ditch fight on the House floor. But minority whip
David Bonior stifled that move. Bonior's Detroit constituency is filled
with Joe Lunchbucket types who regularly quaff a few brews after a tough
day on the production line. Michigan stands to collect millions for roads
from the highway fund.

Then there were Democrats like Wisconsin's David Obey who feared the lower
standard would frighten voters away from bars where, traditionally, they do
their socializing.

The Wisconsin custom, as in other rural states, is for folks to meet
friends and family in taverns. "Urban snobs may not like it," said Obey,
"but that's the way it is."

Finally, there were the states-righters who charged a national standard
would be "federal blackmail."

With this coalition working together, the bill didn't have a chance. In
American politics, it doesn't matter how important the legislation. Nothing
wins unless the member of Congress sees a real benefit for himself or

Warning - Zealotry May Be Hazardous (Op-Ed In 'Washington Post'
By Fred Barbash Examines The Hypocrisy Evidenced By The Demise
Of Joe Camel While The Budweiser Frog Dances On)

Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 21:53:10 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US: WP: Warning: Zealotry May Be Hazardous
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: rlake@mapinc.org
Source: Washington Post
Section: Outlook, Page C01
Author: Fred Barbash
Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm
Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
Pubdate: Sunday, 19 April 1998
Note: Fred Barbash is deputy editor of Outlook.


Question: What's the difference between a talking lizard and a camel?

Answer: One will live and the other must die. The reason: The lizard
represents alcohol, specifically Budweiser. The camel is an advertising
icon for cigarettes.

Is that because smoking kills but alcohol doesn't? No, they both kill, but
the anti-smoking lobby is stronger and smarter than the anti-alcohol lobby.
Big Health is getting its way with Big Tobacco. And if you are smart, you
will get out of its way, because the anti-smokers are in a
take-no-prisoners mood. After years of frustration and lost battles,
they've got tobacco on the run.

The strength of the coalition against tobacco is one of the great political
phenomena of our era. Mobilization against a single target by a
president, the Congress, 40 state attorneys general, many state
legislatures, the YMCA, the YWCA, the Sierra Club, much of organized
religion, organized education, organized medicine and a lot of trial
lawyers, among others, may be a first in peacetime.

But the wartime fervor with which the anti-smoking movement pursues its
aims, its deployment of extreme measures, including punitive legislation
and a carpet bombing of lawsuits, concerns me -- especially because I have
seen no evidence that heavy blunt instruments are the best way to deal with
complicated public health problems, such as addiction.

By now you're wondering if I smoke. I do. But I am not anti anti-smoking. I
am grateful that the movement has made it impossible for me to smoke in my
office and in restaurants. These restrictions have cut my consumption
dramatically. Having started at age 12 and watched family members suffer
from smoking-related cancers, I certainly don't want my children taking up
the habit. I have no love for tobacco companies, who have made money off me
from a product I wish I didn't use. Smoking is a terrible thing. Smoking
stinks. But in its pursuit of Big Tobacco, Big Health is taking on a
certain odor, too. To be blunt, I smell fanaticism.

All democracies need zealots. They sometimes bring us to terms with
realities we would sooner ignore and useful solutions we would sooner
avoid. But the combination of zealotry and power -- a confederacy of
zealots -- is another matter. Extreme measures, once legitimized in law,
can be used by others, for other purposes. You may like them when you
approve of the target, but you will surely hate them when you don't. (Those
in favor of abortion rights ought to worry, about which more later.)

Last week, for example, the Maryland legislature decided that the state
needed some help in its lawsuit against the tobacco industry. So, with the
case already in progress, the legislature changed the rules of the game. It
barred a legal defense that the industry has used successfully in other
lawsuits and in the early rounds of the Maryland suit (that smokers were
aware of the danger) and gave the state attorney general the legal right to
use a specific statistical technique to argue its case.

Do we really want legislatures to intervene this way? Would you approve if
you had filed a medical malpractice suit, based on current law, and the
legislature suddenly came in and gave the doctor or the hospital a new
weapon? (Some of the lawsuits are illegitimate on the merits and exist only
to drain the companies. U.S. District Judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp declared
Wednesday, as he dismissed one case in Florida that "the tobacco industry
has, of late, become the whipping boy of American political discourse. The
fact that the tobacco industry has recently become very unpopular, however,
is insufficient ground for this court to overturn well-established
common-law rules.")

Consider Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich's boast that "we'll tax the
hell out of" the tobacco companies. What if Gingrich was talking about,
say, your all-terrain vehicle (energy conservation) or your beach house
(environmental degradation), your diet (too much fat) or your video rentals
(too violent, too sexy)?

Consider an organization calling itself the Florida Pilot Program on
Tobacco Control, which put out a list of anti-tobacco "demands" on a poster
picturing a youth in what appears to be an Irish Republican Army-type
balaclava (or is it a Batman costume?) surrounded by teenagers: "Today,
supporters of tobacco become our target," the poster trumpets, indicting
"distributors, advertising agencies, the media that accept tobacco
advertising and the movies that glamorize it."

"We're truth," these teenagers proclaim.

No, I want to say, you're scary.

So was the man who ran in front of me a few weekends ago at a CVS in
Northwest Washington when I was buying a pack of cigarettes. The man
declared himself part of a group fed up with "neighborhood stores selling
cigarettes," shrieked at the unfortunate sales clerk, flung a printed
brochure at her and said he'd be back.

All of this comes, of course, as Congress considers perhaps the most purely
punitive piece of legislation in history -- legislation with a
multibillion-dollar price tag for millions of Americans, more restrictions
on freedom of speech in advertising for the tobacco companies and authority
for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to impose a ban on nicotine,
which would in effect be a ban on smoking.

In the end, banning is what this is all about, no matter what the movement
claims now. Indeed, the closest analogy in memory to the anti-smoking
movement may be the movement to ban abortion. Members of both use the
language of war-crimes tribunals in describing their opponents. ("They have
knowingly peddled a killer product," said Maryland Attorney General J.
Joseph Curran when he filed suit against the industry. "Now we will take
them to a courthouse to seek justice for their deceitful conduct.") Both
the antiabortion and the anti-smoking crusades are premised on the
conviction that killers are on the loose, an essential justification for
their extreme measures.

Both would like to persuade people to give up the activity but have failed.
Unable to simply ban the targeted menace, they have looked for back-door
methods to force people into compliance -- regulations, blacklists of
co-conspirators to be pressured and boycotted, and restrictions on

The use of the courts, and the federal and state apparatus of taxing and
spending, have been common weapons, albeit differently employed. The
antiabortion groups have tried, with considerable success, to deny tax
money to "abortionists" through iterations of the Hyde Amendment, which
restricts use of Medicaid funds. The anti-smoking lobby has tried more
direct approaches: File so many lawsuits on behalf of so many plaintiffs
that even if they lose most of them, the cost of defense and the bad
publicity will put the enemy in the corner. Once they're there, use the
taxing power to punish the tobacco companies (and smokers) for the lies
they told while defending themselves.

Finally, both the antiabortion people and the anti-tobacco movements have
dealt with complicated questions of individual liberty in a similar
fashion. Since Americans tend to believe in choice, these movements against
choice have turned for justification to "innocent victims" -- specifically,
the unborn and children, for whom there is no choice at all.

The coalition against smoking is strong but may not be strong enough to
prevent itself from falling apart. As is often true of movements that
include absolutists, it is fracturing into the merely pure and the
purer-than-thou. For the latter, the legislation worked out between Big
Tobacco and Big Health isn't strong enough. They believe a $5 billion cap
on annual payments for lawsuits is a form of immunity.

The merely pure think this is the best they can do, that without the
tobacco industry's voluntary submission, restrictions on advertising will
be found unconstitutional.

I fear the precedent of the anti-smoking remedies now before the Congress.
What will they be used for next? Perhaps fat. Excuse me, Big Fat. As I
understand it, fat, when used as intended, causes heart disease, which
actually kills more people each year than smoking. And have you seen any of
those chocolate ads, the ones targeting children, or the adult versions,
where a beautiful woman caresses a nougat bar with her moist, alluring
lips? Consider that there are no warnings on boxes of high-fat cake about
the hazards to our health, no restrictions on purchases of bacon by people
under 26 and, to my knowledge, no lawsuits. How about a fat tax?

I'll admit there are some differences. The body needs some fat. And so far,
fat has not been declared addictive, chocolate addicts notwithstanding. But
it is a food, falling under the jurisdiction of the FDA, and therefore
automatically qualifies for regulation. If you think an anti-tobacco-style
attack on fat is far-fetched, consider that, before he resigned, former FDA
Commissioner David Kessler had already targeted Big Fat, starting with
labeling requirements to make sure it was properly exposed on the content

You think I'm going too far? Read the wording of some of the anti-tobacco
bills and you'll appreciate that going too far is the name of their game.
Defenders of today's anti-tobacco tactics can argue that the problem is so
serious, the enemy so powerful, that extreme action is surely justified in
response. But that old refrain -- extremism in pursuit of vice -- is still
crazy, after all these years.

(c) Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

Two Major Conferences On Pharmacotherapy For Opiate Dependence
At The New York Academy Of Medicine (Bulletin And Registration Information
From The Lindesmith Center About Events June 6 And September 25)

Return-Path: owner-tlc-cannabis@server.soros.org
From: enadelmann@sorosny.org
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 98 19:29:58 EST
To: #TLC__CANNABIS_at_osi-ny@mail.sorosny.org, tlc-cannabis@soros.org,
#TLC__CEE_at_osi-ny@mail.sorosny.org, tlc-cee@soros.org
Subject: First Internt'l Conf on Heroin Maintenance - NYC - 6/6/98
Sender: owner-tlc-cannabis@soros.org

Two Major Conferences On Pharmacotherapy For Opiate Dependence At


5th Avenue and 103rd Street
New York, New York


Saturday, June 6, 1998
9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The use of heroin maintenance as pharmacotherapy for opiate addiction
is gaining acceptance. A landmark Swiss study has successfully
maintained heroin addicts on injectable heroin for almost two years,
with dramatic reductions in illicit drug use and criminal activity, as
well as greatly improved health and social adjustment.

This conference will mark the first U.S. presentation of the results
of the Swiss program by Professor Ambros Uchtenhagen, M.D., PhD.,
Principal Investigator of the Swiss National Project on the Medically
Controlled Prescription of Narcotics.

Heroin trials are also under way or under consideration in several
other countries. Leading clinicians, researchers, public health and
law enforcement officials from Australia, Canada, Germany, Great
Britain, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United States will
present their perspectives, plans and programs.



Friday, September 25, 1998
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Several countries are using opiates for maintenance treatment,

* codeine
* morphine
* palfium
* buprenorphine
* injectable methadone

Presenters of these pharmacotherapies will include leading clinicians
and health officials from the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain,
Canada, France, Australia, Spain, Israel and the United States

These conferences are sponsored by:

Beth Israel Medical Center
Columbia University School of Public Health
The Lindesmith Center of the Open Society Institute
Montefiore Medical Center
The New York Academy of Medicine
Yale University Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS

Fee: $40 June 6 conference
$50 September 25 conference
lunch included

For on-line registration: www.nyam.org/meded/announcements/heroin.html

For further information contact the New York Academy of Medicine at
212-822-7237, fax at 212-987-4735 or e-mail ralcantara@nyam.org

Drug Conference - Global Solution Needed, Say Youth ('Calgary Herald'
Says 200 Delegates From Around The World Who Gathered
For The Youth Vision Drug Abuse Prevention Forum Last Week In Banff
Will, In Their Infinite Wisdom, Tell The United Nations In New York This June
That Drug Abuse Is A Global Issue Requiring A Global Solution)
Link to response
Date: Tue, 21 Apr 1998 21:07:16 -0800 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: Olafur Brentmar Subject: MN: UN: Drug Conference: Global Solution Needed, Say Youth Newshawk: cozmi@shaw.wave.ca (Deb Harper) Pubdate: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 Source: Calgary Herald (Canada) Contact: letters@theherald.southam.ca Website: http://www.calgaryherald.com/ Author: Eva Ferguson DRUG CONFERENCE: GLOBAL SOLUTION NEEDED, SAY YOUTH Drug abuse is a global issue requiring a global solution, delegates to a conference on preventing drug abuse among youths will tell the United Nations. Countries must work together to improve prevention programs, increase funding and set new priorities, United Nations leaders at a special planning session in New York this June will be told. The recommendations were compiled last week in Banff when some 200 delegates from around the world gathered for the Youth Vision Drug Abuse Prevention Forum. "I really hope the United Nations takes this seriously,we1/4ve worked too hard for them not to," said Veronica Skog, a 24-year -old from Stockholm. "And I hope the recommendations concerning better networking are taken seriously too." "Programs (around the world) have to start exchanging ideas so they can solve things together. This is a global issue." On Saturday a group of delegates, including Calgary1/4s Chris Wilby, drew up draft recommendations based on four days of workshops. A final plan will be drawn up today. Recommendations are expected to include: - urging governments to increase funding and work more closely with youth by seeking their input when creating new programs. - ensuring programs respect a variety of cultures and include different ideals, religions and languages within their teachings. - demanding schools include drug abuse prevention as part of their regular curriculum. - providing more alternative activities for youths at schools and within their communities, particularly recreational and creative outlets, to steer them away from drug abuse. - delivering more accessible treatment for youths within the health care system and including outreach services to support youth after they've returned to the community. - seeking more positive images for youth in the media. - working with the alcohol industry to make it more difficult for youth to obtain products.Ideas include increasing taxes, enforcing age limits, and stricter licensing policies. - reducing the accessibility of other products connected to drug-abuse, such as glue, gasoline and solvents like hairspray, paints and some cleaning products. Nancy Snowball, spokeswoman for the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission, was impressed with the list of recommendations but not surprised. "I was astonished by how well these young people connected, the conversations were never about the weather or scenery; they were about the issues."

Summit Leaders Agree On Anti-Drug Alliance ('San Jose Mercury News'
Says The Leaders Of 34 American Nations Agreed Saturday To Form
An Anti-Drug Alliance - Empire To Be Launched With Negotiations
Beginning In Washington, DC, Next Month - Clinton Administration Wants Alliance
To Replace 12-Year-Old Certification Process,
But Congressional Republican Majority May Prevent That)

Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 10:31:54 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Summit Leaders Agree on Anti-Drug Alliance
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/
Pubdate: Sun, 19 Apr 1998


Leaders of 34 American nations agreed Saturday to form an anti-drug
alliance despite concern at the move from Republican members of the U.S.

The alliance will be launched with negotiations beginning in Washington
next month.

Brought together by the Organization of American States, it will have as
its centerpiece the region's anti-drug czars to evaluate and report on drug
fighting efforts in each member country, including the United States, the
world's largest drug market.

U.S. officials have said the body could eventually replace a 12-year-old
U.S. program that makes U.S. military and economic aid to other countries
conditional on Washington's annual certification of compliance with
anti-drug efforts.

The certification program, required under U.S. law, has been deeply
resented by many Latin American countries, which say it is punitive and
ignores drug demand created by U.S. users.

Two U.S. lawmakers Friday responded to the plans for the alliance, which
was agreed at the Summit of the Americas of 34 leaders from all the
Americas except for Cuba, which was not invited.

``The alliance, while welcome, cannot become a substitute for
certification,'' said Rep. Benjamin Gilman of New York, chairman of the
House International Relations Committee, and Rep. Dennis Hastert, chairman
of a House subcommittee on national security.

``The OAS could also become yet another forum for drug-producing and
transiting nations to join those who blame the (drug) problem solely on
U.S. demand, ignoring the effect that massive amounts of cheap, pure drugs
from their own countries have on that very same demand,'' they said in a

White House National Security Adviser Sandy Berger told reporters in
Santiago Saturday the alliance would complement the certification program
and there were no plans for now to scrap the program, which would require
congressional action.

In addition, attitudes over who is responsible for drug abuse -- the
consumers in the United States or foreign producers -- have become less
polarized, he said.

This was demonstrated in discussions on the issue at the Summit of the
Americas in Santiago, which Berger contrasted with the first such summit in
Miami, in 1994.

In Miami, he said, ``We (alone) spoke to the drug problem. It was kind of
an us-versus-them discussion.''

He said as much as open trade and the evolution of democracy were now the
hemisphere's agenda so too was the drug problem. ``As these countries
become both producer and consumer countries some of these old distinctions
between us and them break down,'' he said.

He quoted Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo as calling drugs the main
threat to the rule of law in the hemisphere in Saturday's discussions. The
anti-drug plan was adopted in a national security session of the summit.

Berger said President Clinton proposed at the session that the OAS require
member nations to disclose weapons sales or purchases.

Berger said this was a confidence-building move to promote greater
awareness of the capabilities of other nations.

Clinton Laments Americas' Problems ('Washington Post' Account
Of The Second Summit Of The Americas, In Santiago, Chile)

Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 21:57:00 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: Chile: WP: Clinton Laments Americas' Problems
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: rlake@mapinc.org
Source: Washington Post
Author: Anthony Faiola, Washington Post Foreign Service
Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm
Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
Pubdate: Sun, 19 April 1998


SANTIAGO, Chile, April 18-On the inaugural day of the second Summit of the
Americas, President Clinton heralded the United States' new "partnership"
with Latin America, along with the region's economic and democratic
transition in the 1990s. But at the same time, he issued a critical
analysis of the lingering social problems that leaders here are attempting
to grapple with at this weekend's summit and beyond.

"Poverty throughout the hemisphere is still too high, income disparity is
too great, civil society too fragile, justice systems too weak, too many
people still lack the education and skills necessary to succeed in the new
economy," Clinton told the hemisphere's 33 other leaders -- all except
Cuban President Fidel Castro. "In short, too few feel the change working
for them."

Clinton's comments cut to the heart of something that has been overlooked
generally during his state visit to the summit site in Santiago, the
Chilean capital, that began Thursday. Despite how far Latin America has
come politically and economically, critical problems still plague the
region's fragile democracies.

Although Latin America has experienced overall economic growth of 15
percent since the first Summit of the Americas in 1994 in Miami, it still
has a disparity between rich and poor that is among the greatest in the
world. And while there have been leaps from dictatorships into democracies,
trouble spots and lapses in the democratic tradition remain throughout the
region. Meanwhile, the narcotics trade is still flourishing in countries
such as Colombia and Bolivia, despite attempts to combat the problem.

In efforts to address those issues, several initiatives were agreed to
today -- and will be signed in a formal accord Sunday. Clinton agreed to
launch "security measures" for Latin America including a "multilateral
counter-drug alliance" that would attempt to tighten law enforcement on
money laundering and help fight an increase in drug consumption.

National security adviser Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger said the measure was not
meant to supplant the United States' policy of "certifying" nations for
drug cooperation. Instead, the new measure would "supplement" it.

"Let's see how it evolves -- the object of both is to increase and
intensify cooperation" in the drug war, Berger said. "This will be another
instrument at our disposal."

The measures to be signed in Sunday's communique, however, basically lay
the groundwork for more specific agreements -- and several contained vague
language. The nations agreed, for instance, to improve extradition
procedures for narcotics-related crimes, but no legislation was suggested
that would make such extraditions mandatory.

The first day of the summit also focused on improving Latin American
literacy rates. The plan includes a doubling of new loans from the
Inter-American Development Bank to $3 billion, and a 50 percent increase in
money from the World Bank to $3 billion. The money would be used to improve
teacher quality, reduce class sizes and increase technology.

"A lot of these democracies are very new, and the gap in education is very
wide," said U.S. Education Secretary Richard W. Riley. "I think it is
noteworthy [that] virtually all these countries have placed education as a
top priority."

(c) Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

Cannabis Campaign - Win A Video (Britain's 'Independent On Sunday'
Continues Its Push For The Reform Of Marijuana Laws With A Contest
Featuring As Prizes 25 Copies Of Australian Documentary Film Maker
Anthony Clarke's 'Hemp Revolution,' Which Has Just Become Available
In Britain)

Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 12:29:59 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: UK: Cannabis Campaign - Win a Video
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie ((Zosimos) Martin Cooke)
Source: Independent on Sunday
Contact: sundayletters@independent.co.uk
Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/
Pubdate: Sun, 19 Apr 1998


Australian documentary film maker Anthony Clarke has made a unique video
guide to the history and controversy surrounding the cannabis question.
Copies of the 74-minute video, The Hemp Revolution, have just become
available in Britain but the Independent on Sunday has 25 copies to give
away to winners of our special competition.

The video is the first serious attempt to place on film the full
fascinating history of the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa), from its hundreds
of practical uses through to the cultural forces responsible for its

"It is perfectly feasible thathemp, used in combination with the
bio-technologies presented in this film, could potentially revolutionise
the planet," said Mr Clarke. "It is also a fact that hemp, a crop that
takes just 120 days to grow, could fulfil the world's need for paper, cloth
and fuel whilst also providing high-protein food and useful medicines if
only it were legal."

The first 25 readers to answer the following three questions correctly (on
a self-addressed postcard) will receive a copy of The Hemp Revolution by

1. Who was the Governor of California in the 1970s who opposed the
decriminalisation of cannabis and who later, as President of the United
States, committed the federal government to waging a "war against

2. Is it legal to buy and sell cannabis seeds in Britain?

3. In 1997, the British Medical Association's special report concluded that
some of the chemical components of cannabis (cannabinoids) "... have a
therapeutic potential in a number of medical conditions in which present
drugs or other treatments are not fully adequate". Name three.

Those not lucky enough to win our competition can order copies of 'The Hemp
Revolution' at #12.99 each from Visual Entertainment, Hampton House, 20
Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TJ (Tel: 0171-820 4410)

e-mail your comments to cannabis@independent.co.uk

The Euro - Ideal For Drug Barons (Britain's 'Observer'
Says A Book Out Tomorrow, 'EMU - Prospects And Challenges For The Euro,'
Suggests People In The Illegal Drug Industry Could Be
Among The Main Beneficiaries Of The Single European Currency,
As Large Denomination Euro Notes Make It Easier And Cheaper
To Smuggle Illegal Profits Across Borders)

Date: Tue, 21 Apr 1998 09:10:23 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: UK: OPED: The Euro - Ideal for Drug Barons
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie ((Zosimos) Martin Cooke)
Source: The Observer (UK)
Contact: editor@observer.co.uk
Pubdate: Sun, 19 Apr 1998
Author: Anthony Browne, Economics Correspondent


The drug barons of Colombia and the Russian mafia could be among the main
beneficiaries of the single European currency, according to a book out
tomorrow. Large denomination euro notes will make it easier and cheaper to
smuggle their illegal profits across borders.

Smuggling cash can account for up to half the cost of drug-running. The
largest value note will be 500 euros (about 350), whereas the $100 note is
worth only around 60. The dollar is the smugglers' preferred currency. "$1
million in $100 notes fits in a briefcase; $1m worth of 500 euro notes
could be packed in a purse," claims Kenneth Rogoff, of Princeton

"The demand for large denomination notes comes mainly from agents
interested in storing and transporting very large sums... such agents tend
to be involved in the underground economy."

Over the last 20 years there has been a rapid increase in the supply of
cash in industrial countries, even taking account of economic growth. There
is $1,500 in cash per US citizen, although the average amount held is only
a tenth of that. Central banks have concluded that the discrepancy (more
than $330 billion) can be accounted for only by foreign holdings and
criminal transactions.

Other large notes, such as the 100,000 Italian lira, devalue too quickly
and are thus expensive to hold for long. The 1,000 Deutschmark note holds
its value but is produced in relatively modest numbers: obtaining (or
spending) large quantities tends to be noticed.

Rogoff suggests the euro's large denominations will give Europe a big
advantage in competing for the prestige of the global market for hard
currency - and that up to 80 per cent of the notes printed by the European
Central Bank will end up in underground or foreign hands.

His answer? The central bank should either not print the large
denominations or prohibit its use in large transactions.

"EMU: Prospects and Challenges for the Euro", published by Centre for
Economic Policy Research.

Nurses Set To Back Use Of Cannabis ('Scotland On Sunday'
Says A Motion Calling For Patients To Be Prescribed Cannabis Products
Has Been Put Forward By The Royal College Of Nursing's Pain Forum
And Will Be Debated At The RCN's Annual Conference In Bournemouth
This Week)

Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 10:54:49 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: UK: Nurses Set to Back Use of Cannabis
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk
Source: Scotland on Sunday
Contact: Letters_sos@scotsman.com
Pubdate: Sun, 19 Apr 1998
Author: Sue Leonard, Health Correspondent


Nurses are joining the fight to get cannabis products prescribed for
patients. The move follows concern that people with conditions such as
multiple sclerosis and cancer are not getting adequate pain relief from
traditional treatments.

A motion calling for patients to be prescribed the drugs has been put
forward by the Royal College of Nursing's Pain Forum and will be debated at
the RCN's annual conference in Bournemouth this week.

Only two cannabis-based products, known as cannabinoids, are currently used
therapeutically. One, nabilone, is used in hospitals in Britain to prevent
nausea in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. The other,
tetrahydrocannabinol, is used in the US to improve the appetites of
patients with Aids.

Hundreds of people are thought to be illegally using cannabis to fight
their symptoms despite the risk of prison sentences and claims by some
doctors that it can speed up the heart, causes paranoia and even insanity.

Celia Manson, an RCN adviser, said nurses were concerned about the
restrictions on current cannabis-derived products which could benefit so
many people. "Few doctors are able to prescribe them at the moment. Nurses
from the Pain Forum feel there is potential for much greater use and these
should at the very least be investigated."

A previous motion to decriminilise cannabis was defeated at the conference
a few years ago but this one may well be passed by RCN members on Thursday.

Last year at its annual conference the British Medical Association voted
for cannabis derivatives to be legalised for medical purposes. The BMA drew
up a report which showed cannabinoids had potential for therapeutic use in
a number of conditions including MS, spinal chord injury, stroke and
spastic disorders.

Where Opium Reigned, Burmese Claim Inroads ('New York Times'
Says The Military Junta That Seized Power In Burma In 1988 May Be Shifting
Its 'Attitude' Toward The Illegal Opium Market)

Newshawk: Dick Evans (emr@javanet.com)
Source: New York Times ( NY)
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Pubdate: Sun, 19 Apr 1998
Author: Christopher Wren


LASHIO, Burma -- In the remote valleys and rugged mountains here in
northeastern Burma, opium offers more than a narcotic high. For years, it has
provided a livelihood for hill tribes who inhabit the northern expanse of the
Golden Triangle, the lush, lawless area of Southeast Asia that is the source of
much of the world's heroin.

Opium finances daily needs, from rice and cooking oil to assault rifles. The
rifles are used to wage rebellion and to defend the mule caravans transporting
the sticky, pungent opium to be refined into heroin for American and European
drug habits.

Burma produced an estimated 2,600 tons of opium last year, enough to make
more than 200 tons of heroin -- at least 60 percent of the world total. But the
drug trade is changing along Burma's porous frontiers with Thailand, China and
Laos, and one of the most startling shifts may be in the attitude of the military
junta that seized power in this country in 1988. For years the junta tolerated
opium trafficking as the price of its cease-fires with insurgent ethnic groups.
Now it says that it wants to eradicate all opium within five years. To show what
it has accomplished, it recently allowed three American reporters into an
opium-growing region usually closed to visitors.

Some diplomats in Yangon, the capital, view the eradication claim skeptically
because land devoted to opium cultivation has doubled under the junta's rule,
and the country's mismanaged economy has grown to rely on laundered drug

The government says it has eradicated 41,000 acres of poppies, one-tenth of the
land under opium cultivation in Burma. "The crop eradication areas are only
small parts of the areas they do control," a Western diplomat said. 'They are
window dressing."

Col. Gyaw Thien, the chief of Burma's counter-narcotics program, disagreed,
declaring that the government was being asked to solve a century-old problem in
two weeks without any help. "It's quite unfair," he said. "We are making much
more effective interdictions and seizures than we have in the past." Last year,
police and army units reported seizing 1.5 tons of heroin, compared with about
half a ton in 1996, though their record seizures amount to less than 1 percent of
Burma's output. "This drug problem is not only the problem of the United
States," Gyaw Thien said. "It's our problem too. We know that we cannot fight
this alone."

The junta's new policy puts Washington in a quandary because the United States
cut off counter-narcotics aid to Burma after the coup in 1988. Restoring such
aid could undercut other American economic sanctions and lend legitimacy to a
dictatorship that stands accused of widespread abuse of human rights.

"We think we can get rid of 60 percent of the heroin going into the U.S. in 12
months' time if the U.S. cooperates with us," said Hla Min, the deputy director
of the Office of Strategic Studies, a planning branch of military intelligence.

A Western diplomat who watched the shift concluded: "What this government
wants to do is perpetuate itself in power. They know it's got a bad image. They
looked at drugs and found this is the one asset they have. They'd like to use
whatever they've done to improve their image and try to get sanctions lifted."
The State Department acknowledges in its latest drug control report that it has
no evidence that Burma's government is trafficking in drugs on an institutional

"However," the report said, "there are persistent and reliable reports that
officials, particularly army personnel posted in outlying areas, are involved in
the drug business."

The government denies this, citing the arrest of 11 army officers last April for
colluding with a heroin refining operation in northern Shan state. The senior
officer, a lieutenant colonel, was sent to prison for 25 years. It also deported Li
Yunchun, a fugitive trafficker indicted in New York, to Thailand, which handed
him over to the United States. But new traffickers, notably the Wa, a fierce hill
people whose ancestors hunted heads, have wrested control of the lucrative
heroin business from remnants of renegade Chinese Nationalist soldiers and
rebel militias. Nearly a million Wa straddle the border between China and
Burma. Their insurgent army has diversified from heroin into
methamphetamines, powerful synthetic stimulants that have saturated Thailand
and since turned up in Japan, Taiwan and Malaysia, Burmese and Western
officials say. A Burmese counter-narcotics official said that the Wa now make
more money from methamphetamines than from heroin and refine both drugs
themselves using chemicals smuggled in primarily from China.

Because of aggressive interdiction by the Thai police, the old trafficking routes
through the Golden Triangle are shifting from Thailand and into China, or less
often Laos and even northeastern India. Some heroin still moves by truck down
from the Shan highlands market town of Lashio, through lowland Mandalay to
the port of Yangon, as Rangoon is now called. Eradicating opium could help the
military government's strategy of subduing ethnic insurgents who traffic in
opium to finance their wars of independence. government troops cannot enter
most Wa-controlled territory without a battle.

With an army estimated at 15,000 to 20,000 men, the Wa have grown so strong,
acquiring surface-to-air missiles and modern communications equipment, that
government troops complain about feeling outgunned. Last summer, a 30-man
government patrol was wiped out when it ran into a Wa mule caravan
smuggling methamphetamine to Thailand.

"The Burmese would like nothing better than to do away with the drug trade,"
another diplomat in Yangon said, "because it would take guns out of the hands
of these armies."

The government's creation of a handful of opium-free zones has upset local
farmers. "What we're talking about is really changing their life style," said
Jorgen Kristensen, an official with the U.N. Drug Control Program, which has
introduced alternative development projects. "Poppy cultivation is ingrained in
their culture."

At Nam Tit, a Wa town about a half-hour's walk from the Chinese border, Zi Zi
Fa, a farmer in patched shirt and shorts, said that his grandfather and father grew
opium poppies. He earned about $650 for his own annual crop of 12 1/2
pounds of opium, which he did not need to take to market. "When I was
growing poppies," he said, "the buyer came to me."

Since the government told him to grow soybeans instead, Zi said, he earns
one-tenth of what opium paid, not enough to feed 10 family members. "The
family is barely surviving," he said, echoing a complaint expressed by opium
farmers in Afghanistan and coca farmers in Colombia and Peru. "If we did not
grow poppies, our income would not last more than one or two months," he
said. 'In the high mountains, rice doesn't grow, and it's too cold. The corn is fit
only for the pigs."

In the nearby border town of Chin Shwe Haw, Kyan Ti Jy, a farmer from the
ethnic Chinese Kokang minority, said, "We earned more money growing
poppies, but our leader said to stop growing opium." Kyan obediently planted
lichee trees and sugar cane. Now, he complained, "nobody's buying sugar
because there's no mill." Construction on a sugar refinery is not expected before
September. With their incomes slashed by more than half, "the farmers are not
very happy," said a local official, Kyan Tin Wan.

"But the government is giving out rubber plants and lichee trees almost free of
charge, and free fertilizer," he said.

It will take at least three years for the lichee trees to bear fruit. In the meantime,
Kyan Tin Wan said, "large families who cannot stand it are going out of
designated opium-free areas to where the government cannot touch them." The
official conceded that even farmers who gave up opium as a crop "still might be
growing a little bit here and there for medicinal purposes." At his base in Lauk
Kai, the Kokang political leader, Peng Jiasheng, said it was hard for his people
to stop growing opium.

"We admit there is poppy growing in this area to a certain extent, but not the
way we've been portrayed," he said. "It's not that the leaders are buying opium
and taking it down to the Golden Triangle. We're not involved in that." Before
the Kokang concluded a cease-fire with the Burmese government in 1989, Peng
trafficked in opium himself.

"When we were insurgents, we needed to expand our army and we needed
weapons and food," he said. "For that we needed to grow more poppies."

His troops did not cultivate opium, Peng said, but levied a 40 percent tax on
what local farmers produced.

"Seventy percent of the people in this area were supporting us financially for the
insurgency," he explained. "But now there's no more fighting and our troops are
drastically reduced."

At the height of the rebellion, he said, the Kokang and Wa could field 60,000
soldiers between them. Now, he insisted, his troops have dwindled to 500.

"Today it's peaceful, so we don't need to grow poppies," the Kokang leader said,
waving a hand adorned with a heavy gold bracelet and gold rings. "If my people
can have their stomachs full and something appropriate to wear, they are happy
enough. They don't need anything more."

Taking the profit out of opium may be the toughest challenge because when the
leader of a drug operation quits, contenders jockey to replace him. For years,
Khun Sa and his narco-army dominated the heroin trade under the guise of
fighting for Shan self-determination. After some of his troops mutinied, Khun
Sa negotiated his surrender in January 1996 and lives comfortably, but in poor
health, under government observation in Yangon.

"We were fighting him for years," Hla Min of the Office of Strategic Studies
said, justifying the government's accommodation with Khun Sa. "We were not
gaining much ground because he was well equipped, well dug-in, and the terrain
was terrible. We were sacrificing too many casualties."

"Khun Sa is a walking encyclopedia regarding the drug issue," Colonel Hla Min
said. "Everything he knows, we know. But this is a multibillion-dollar
business." The vacuum left by Khun Sa was soon filled by Wei Hsueh-kang, a
Wa commander who is said to have 7,000 troops protecting his heroin and
methamphetamine operation.

"All information is that he's getting larger by the day," said a Western official
who follows narcotics matters.

For all the heroin they export to the United States and Europe, such leaders do
not tolerate its use in their own ranks. Khun Sa detoxified errant soldiers in
cages exposed to the blistering sun or in soggy holes in the ground. While older
Kokang people may use opium as medicine, Peng said, heroin "is not medicine,
so there's no excuse."

"Trading in heroin is a serious offense," he said. "We shoot the person."

Customs Officers 'Set Up Bogus Drug Deals' (Britain's 'Independent On Sunday'
Says British Customs And Excise Officers In Pakistan Are Being Investigated
Following Allegations That Asians In The UK Were Set Up In Bogus Drug Deals)

Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 12:29:50 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: UK: Customs Officers 'Set Up Bogus Drug Deals'
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie ((Zosimos) Martin Cooke)
Source: Independent on Sunday
Contact: sundayletters@independent.co.uk
Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/
Pubdate: Sun, 19 Apr 1998
Author: Steve Boggan


British Customs and Excise officers in Pakistan are being investigated
following allegations that Asians in the UK were "set up" in bogus drug

An inquiry is being conducted by the Customs National Investigation Service
after a convicted drug dealer claimed that he helped to set up stings for
the Drugs Liaison Office attached to the British High Commission in

Two court cases involving 55kg of heroin with a street value of #5.5m have
already collapsed because the dealer, Hussain Shah, a 45-year-old Bradford
businessman, offered to give evidence for the defence about his involvement
in setting up the "victims".

Senior Customs officials are concerned that a campaign by defence
solicitors in as many as 13 cases going back four years could result in
genuine criminals launching appeals because of Shah's claims.

They centre on Customs and Excise "controlled deliveries" of drugs into the
UK in operations where informants from Pakistan pose as couriers to lead
investigators to large-scale buyers in Britain.

Shah, 45, claims he was recruited by Customs officers in Pakistan after
fleeing there to escape charges relating to a 3kg drugs deal in Britain in
1995. His solicitor, Mohammed Rafique, says Shah, who was anxious to return
to his Bradford home, was approached by Customs officials and promised that
his case would be dropped if he agreed to help set upstings in the UK in
which deliveries were made to chosen individuals.

"Mr Shah says they told him that if he co-operated, his case would go no
further," Mr Rafique said. "He got involved in roping a few people into
deals in Britain but when he returned last year he was arrested and
sentenced to four years in prison."

Last October, Chunni Singh and Gill Singh were acquitted at Leeds Crown
Court of smuggling 20kg of heroin into Britain after Shah offered to give
evidence relating to his involvement in their case.

Earlier, three other defendants, accused of importing 35kg of heroin, had
charges against them dropped, again after prosecutors were told that Shah
was prepared to give evidence. Philip Sweeney, solicitor for one of the
three, Waheed Rehman, said: "It was a godsend. The men were looking at 15
to 20 years. But they were drawn in by the operation. They certainly
weren't big operators."

Although the defendants in each case appeared quite willing to buy large
amounts of drugs, they argue that heroin is offered so cheaply that
temptation results in entrapment.

Customs and Excise confirmed that a "thorough" inquiry was under way. It is
understood at least two men, jailed for their part in receiving a
controlled delivery in Manchester in 1994, are to be interviewed in prison
by Mike Fletcher, head of the Customs National Investigation Service, or
his deputy, Mike Newsom.

Customs sources say no impropriety has been uncovered so far. However
senior officers are known to be concerned that Shah's claims and the
orchestrated actions of determined defence solicitors could lead to appeals
by jailed drugs importers whose convictions were justified.



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